THE THEORY OF COMMUNICATIVE ACTION VOLUME 2 LIFEWORLD AND SYSTEM A CRITIQUE OF FUNCTIONALIST REASON
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This study offers a systematic reconstruction of the theoretical foundations and framework of critical social theory. It is Habermas' "magnum opus", and it is regarded as one of the most important works of modern social thought. In this second and final volume of the work, Habermas examines the relations between action concepts and systems theory and elaborates a framework for analyzing the developmental tendencies of modern societies. He discusses in detail the work of Marx, Durkheim, G.H. Mead and Talcott Parsons, among others. By distinguishing between social systems and what he calls the "life-world", Habermas is able to analyze the ways in which the development of social systems impinges upon the symbolic and subjective dimensions of social life, resulting in the kind of crises, conflicts and protest movements which are characteristic of advanced capitalist societies in the late-20th century.
Here, for the first time in English, is volume one of Jurgen Habermas's long-awaited magnum opus: The Theory of Communicative Action. This pathbreaking work is guided by three interrelated concerns: (1) to develop a concept of communicative rationality that is no longer tied to the subjective and individualistic premises of modern social and political theory; (2) to construct a two-level concept of society that integrates the 'lifeworld' and 'system' paradigms; and (3) to sketch out a critical theory of modernity that explains its sociopathologies in a new way. Habermas approaches these tasks through a combination of conceptual analyses, systematic reflections, and critical reconstructions of such predecessors as Marx and Weber, Durkheim and Mead, Horkheimer and Adorno, Schutz and Parsons. Reason and the Rationalization of Society develops a sociological theory of action that stresses not its means-ends or teleological aspect, but the need to coordinate action socially via communication. In the introductory chapter Habermas sets out a powerful series of arguments on such foundational issues as cultural and historical relativism, the methodology of Verstehen, the inseparabilty of interpretation from critique. In addition to clarifying the normative foundations of critical social inquiry, this sets the stage for a systematic appropriation of Weber's theory of rationalization and its Marxist reception by Lukacs, Horkheimer and Adorno. This is an important book for degree students of philosophy, sociology and related subjects.
In this important book Habermas develops his views on a range of moral and ethical issues. Drawing on his theory of communicative action, Habermas elaborates an original conception of 'discourse ethics', seeking to reconstruct a moral point of view from which normative claims can be impartially judged. Habermas connects communicative ethics to the theory of social action via an examination of research in the social psychology of moral and interpersonal development. He aims to show that our basic moral intuitions spring from something deeper and more universal than contingent features of our tradition, namely from normative presuppositions of social interaction that belong to the repertoire of competent agents in any society. Moral Consciousness and Communicative Action confronts directly a variety of difficult and controversial problems which are at the centre of current debates in philosophy and social and political theory.
Author : J?rgen Habermas
ISBN : 9780745694184
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 23.66 MB
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Theory and Practice is one of Habermas's major works and is widely recognized as a classic in contemporary and social and political theory. Through a series of highly original historical studies, Habermas re-examines the relations between philosophy, science and politics. Beginning with the classical doctrine of politics as developed by Aristotle, he traces the changing constellation of theory and practice through the work of Machiavelli, More, Hobbes, Hegel and Marx. He argues that, with the development of the modern sciences, politics has become increasingly regarded as a technical discipline concerned with problems of prediction and control. Politics has thus lost its link with the practical cultivation of character, that is, with the praxis of enlightened citizens. Theory and Practices includes a major re-assessment of Marx's work and of the status of Marxism as a form of critique. In an important concluding chapter Habermas examines the role of reason and the prospects for critical theory in our modern scientific civilization.
In this wide-ranging work, now available in paperback, Habermas presents his views on the nature of the social sciences and their distinctive methodology and concerns. He examines, among other things, the traditional division between the natural sciences and the social sciences; the characteristics of social action and the implications of theories of language for social enquiry; and the nature, tasks and limitations of hermeneutics. Habermas' analysis of these and other themes is, as always, rigorous, perceptive and constructive. This brilliant study succeeds in highlighting the distinctive characteristics of the social sciences and in outlining the nature of, and prospects for, critical theory today.
Author : James Gordon Finlayson
ISBN : 9780192840950
Genre : Language Arts & Disciplines
File Size : 29.7 MB
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This book provides a clear and readable overview of the works of today's most influential German philosopher. It analyses the theoretical underpinnings of Habermas's social theory, and its applications in ethics, politics, and law. Finally, it examines how his social and political theory informs his writing on contemporary, political, and social problems.
J_rgen Habermas is one of the best-known and most influential philosophers in Europe today. Heir to the Frankfurt school, his reputation rests on more than thirty years of groundbreaking works on society knowledge, history, technology; ethics, and many other subjects. He is also a familiar figure in his native Germanyøwhere he has often played a prominent role in public de-bates. In recent years, he has spoken out ever more directly on the extraordinary changes taking place in Germany, Europe, and the world. This volume of interviews reveals Habermas's passionate engagement with contemporary issues. Wide-ranging and informal, the interviews focus on matters of decisive importance to Germany and the rest of the world in the 1990s: German unification; recent explosive debates about interpretations of German history, Germany's asylum policies, and the Nazi era; efforts to create a cooperative, peaceful Europe; and the significance of the Persian Gulf War. A final interview focuses on the relation between theory and practice?between philosophy and the so-called real world. In an afterword to the volume, Habermas addresses a broad spectrum of issues facing Germany and other nations in this final decade of the century. Ably translated and annotated by Max Pensky, professor of philosophy at the State University of New York-Binghamton, The Past as Future provides a striking portrait of an intellectual who is equally at home in the world of academic philosophy and in mainstream debate?and who can make valuable connections between the two.
In this new collection of recent essays, Habermas takes up and pursues the line of analysis begun in The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity. He begins by outlining the sources and central themes of twentieth-century philosophy, and the range of current debates. He then examines a number of key contributions to these debates, from the pragmatic philosophies of Mead, Perice and Rorty to the post-structuralism of Foucault. Like most contemporary thinkers, Habermas is critical of the Western metaphysical tradition and its exaggerated conception of reason. But he cautions against the temptation to relinquish this conception altogether. In opposition to the radical critics of Western philosophy, Habermas argues that postmetaphysical thinking can remain critical only if it preserves the idea of reason while stripping it of its metaphysical trappings. Habermas contributes to this task by developing further his distinctive approach to problems of meaning, rationality and subjectivity. This book will be of particular interest to students of philosophy, sociology and social and political theory, and it will be essential reading for anyone interested in the continuing development of Habermas's project.
In this enormously influential book, Jurgen Habermas examines the deep tensions and crisis tendencies which underlie the development of contemporary Western societies and develops a powerful analysis of the legitimation problems faced by modern states. Habermas argues that Western societies have succeeded to some extent in stabilizing the economic fluctuations associated with capitalism, but this has created a new range of crisis tendencies which are expressed in other spheres. States intervene in economic life and attempt to regulate markets, but they find themselves confronted by increasing and often conflicting demands. As individuals become increasingly disillusioned, the state is faced with the possibility of a mass withdrawal of loyalty or support - a 'legitimation crisis'. Widely recognized as a classic of contemporary social and political analysis, Legitimation Crisis sheds light on a range of issues which are central to current debates, from the decline of class conflict and the disillusionment with established political institutions to the crisis of the welfare state. It remains essential reading for students of sociology, politics and the social sciences generally.